Thursday, April 16, 2015

School days

 Today's first two books for the second graders had a theme.  What Do You Do With an Idea is a wonderful look at whether or not we listen to that little voice inside us when we have an ah-ha! moment or whether we listen to the naysayers.   If you listen to your idea you can change the world.
 Well, this wonderful book carried that idea one step further.  Rafael and every child in his classroom are given the identical kit for a go-cart to build and race on Going Places day.  He follows directions to the letter and is excited it actually turned into a go-cart.  Then he checked in on his friend Maya and discovers she is a girl with thinking-outside-the box ideas.  Together the two friends combine their projects and take the day.  When the boys in Elizabeth's class saw what Maya did and when I told them not to tell their teacher that I said "following directions isn't always the thing to do" they were completely into the concept.
 This is one of my favorites, too.  The old man shows a kindness to a stranger and is rewarded with a full belly bowl. If used properly he will never go hungry.  Of course once he discovers the magic of the bowl and he starts to use it improperly, things get out of control.  If food can be replicated, why not coins?  What happens when other things fall into the bowl and multiply out of control?  Great story and amazing illustrations.
Kindergarteners love anything improbable, exciting and full of action.  When Dinosaurs Came with Everything was exactly that.  It's an impossibly good luck day when a round of errands with mom means that everything is rewarded with a real live dinosaur at each stop.  Donuts? Dinosaur on the side. Haircut? Yup.  Shoes? yup.  What to do with a backyard full of dinosaurs?  Put them to work!
This wasn't a rip roarin' story full of adventure but the little ones all had a side story to contribute about seeds.  This is such a sweet book about Miss Maple's journey each spring to gather the orphan seeds that didn't take root the year before.  She minds them and tends them and they come to life with help.  We talked about the magic of seeds, the whole great big tree in an acorn or a poppy seed giving us beautiful flowers.  All hiding inside that little speck just waiting for a little dirt, rain and sun.  The refraining message is "Take care my little ones, for the world is big and you are small.." and the last page tells us that even the mightiest tree had to start from a small seed. 

1 comment:

  1. These look wonderful. I bet my grandson will love them. Thanks for sharing!